tv Greta Van Susteren FOX News September 24, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
getting done, the deficit exploding even further, and more czars and regulations from the white house. >> and let me tell you, ryan's not going to make one bit of difference in this race. >> sean: we'll see. 43 days to go. this is like our super bowl. thanks for being with us. greta is next to go on the record. we'll see you tomorrow night. >> greta: tonight a bump in the road. is that what president obama calls it? and now could that bump in the road turn into a major roadblock for president obama's campaign? republicans tearing into the president for downplaying the violence in the middle east. in a tv interview last night president obama referring to the recent outbreaks of anti-american violence as "bumps in the road." >> have recent events in the middle east given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the arab spring? >> well, i said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. the question presumes that somehow we could have stopped
this wave of change. i think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance, but i was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road. >> bumps in the road? we had an ambassador assassinated. we had a muslim brotherhood elect a member elected to the presidency of egypt, 20,000 people have been killed in syria. we have tumult in pakistan. and of course iran is that much closer to having the capacity to build a nuclear weapon. these are not bumps in the road. these are human lives. these are developments we do not want to see! >> when he said, "bump in the road," did he mean not to draw or define that event in
banghazi? >> the president was referring to the transformations in the region. to this process that has only began less than two years ago as we saw in tunisia and continues to this day with remarkable transformations occurring in countries aren't the region. ar. >> not surprising at all. you see, obama doesn't have time for netanyahu. he's barely got time for the u.n., but he's going to squeeze in -- he's going to see beyonce, whoopi goldberg. he's going on "the view." i don't know why people are so surprised. it's what kim kardashian would do, and he's president kardashian, a celebrity of the united states instead of the president. >> the president's decision not to meet with the prime minister of israel when the prime minister is here for the united nations session i think is a mistake, and it sends a message throughout the middle east that somehow we distanced ourselves from our friends. i think the exact opposite
approach is what's necessary. >> what do you make of the republican view that the president has no time for prime minister netanyahu but time for "the view"? >> prime minister netanyahu is not in new york in the days the president is in new york. the president's not in new york on the days whe prime minister netanyahu will be in new york. the president just recently had a conversation with prime minister netanyahu that lasted more than an hour, i believe, and that was just one in countless conversations that they've had. >> you say that he's got schedules, that foreign leaders have schedules, but the president has blocked out time to appear on "the view" on tuesday. so he has time for whoopi goldberg but he doesn't have time for world leaders? >> no, chris, look, the president is going to be actively involved at the u.n. general assembly. >> he's not meeting with any leaders, he's giving a speech. >> chris, they have telephones in the white house. last week he talked to the
president of egypt, he talked to the leader in libya. we don't need a meeting in washington just to confer with leaders. >> greta: looks like the president's already having a bad week, and it's only monday. jake tapper joins us. >> good evening, greta. >> greta: how does the white house respond to the question of why secretary of state hillary clinton is meeting with the president of afghanistan and the president of libya and president obama is not, and the president is not meeting with prime minister netanyahu? >> well, their basic answer when asked about this -- we've been asking about it for quite some time -- is the one that you just heard jay carney explain, the idea that the schedules do not align, president obama's in new york monday/tuesday, then going back. prime minister netanyahu will be in new york later in the week. it is true last year when president obama was here for the u.n. general assembly he had at
least a dozen meetings with world leaders, and having covered president obama since he took office this is an anomaly, this idea that he would come here and not have meetings with world leaders. there really isn't a full explanation that's been forthcoming other than the president has a busy schedule. >> greta: is my recollection correct, didn't last night netanyahu came to washington to meet him? it's not so much that they aren't that the same place. they both have planes. >> right, of course. this has been the dispute between the u.s. and israeli governments. the israeli government has told abc news that they put in an official request, they would have prime minister netanyahu come to washington, d.c. as you know, it is a 35-minute flight. the white house says that there was no official request. i don't know where the truth lies in that computation. but the bottom line is this is just another example of the fact that president obama and prime minister netanyahu have, if not a rocky relationship, not the smoothest relationship that's
ever existed between an american and israeli leader. >> greta: is there anything unusual about the fact that secretary of state hillary clinton is meeting with the head of state of libya and of afghanistan and our president is not? she's meeting with -- i think she met earlier today with both of them. >> i don't know that it's unusual. she has a pretty big portfolio and she's a fairly well-respected member of the cabinet, and certainly president obama having her conduct those meetings isn't intended as a -- she's not just like some junior aide he's sending in his stead. that said, it's unusual he's not meeting with world leaders at this u.n. general assembly meeting, and certainly this friction with netanyahu is unusual and symbolic i think in some ways of the tension that's existed. i think that jeffrey goldberg, a good analyst of the u.s./israeli relationship says that neither president obama nor prime minister netanyahu is blameless in this relationship, and although obviously israel and
the u.s. are strong allies, their relationship has leaders has had fractures and, you know, we've seen them in these last few days. >> greta: what is the controversy that has been growing about the ambassador's diary? his journal that was discovered not by the u.s. government but by journalists for cnn. >> well, after the u.s. government left the compound in banghazi after the attack, a cnn reporter went on the grounds and found a copy of the late ambassador stevens' journal. after that it gets a little murky. but the bottom line is the state department alleges that cnn originally gave ambassador stevens' family veto rights to decide whether or not they could report what they saw in the journal. i'm not exactly sure what cnn's
response has been other than that they have tried to bend over backwards to communicate and coordinate with the family of ambassador stevens and with the state department. bottom line is, i think it's fair to say those people in power who don't want to talk about the security failures at the compound are more eager to talk about cnn and their reporting practices and then their internal diagnosi discussn a much more consequential question, which is was security bad, were there intelligence failures, what is going on in the middle east right now in terms of how prepared the u.s. is for incidents like these. >> greta: in terms of -- you've covered a couple white house. i'm curious what the relationship between the press and this white house is and the press and the last
administration. is there any way to compare and contrast? >> i only filled in a couple times during the bush administration. i can't really judge. as a general rule, i think it's better that is not be a media critic, but i think it's imperative that we're asked there to ask them tough questions, whether they're democrats or republicans. >> greta: but do you get a sense that -- i mean, do you hear -- is access about the same as it has been always for the media? there's always been a push and pull, but from what you satisfactory ihear isit essenti? >> i can only speak for myself. i've been yelled at by both administrations, but white houses respect tough reporters whreporters who asktough questis they're fair and impartial in their coverage. that's been true in my experience with both bush and
obama. >> greta: equal opportunity yelled at. that's good. jake, thank you. >> thank you, greta. >> greta: iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad who called for israel to be wiped off the met is set to speak at the u.n. why is that speaking even more outrage than usual? because wednesday's yom kippur, the holiest jewish holiday of the year. we spoke with former new york mayor rudy giuliani about the controversy. mayor, nice to see you. >> nice to see you too. >> greta: i want to start with president ahmadinejad, your view of him coming to the united states and addressing the general assembly once again. >> i've always thought it was an outrage that he come. we used to be successful keeping people out like him in the past. but, you know, it happens. this guy is a -- i don't know what it is. he's obviously a killer, a murderer. i think a maniac. someone who has announced over and over again that he wants to see the destruction of the state
of israel. in many ways he'd like to see the destruction of the united states of america. he's accorded the status of speaking as a head of state with a u.n. that, that a large segment is sympathetic to him. this is a man determined to become a nuclear power. the president announced yesterday on "60 minutes" this is just noise that he blocks out. that's a frightening statement by the president of the united states. >> greta: is there any way to have prevent him from coming to the united states or is by virtue of the fact that the united nations is in new york? many americans are thinking, why in the portlan world is he alloe
here. >> we were successful keeping arafat out. the president takes a cavalier attitude about it. he deals with claims of iran being a nuclear power by saying it's noise that he blocks out. you know, governor romney makes a slight little statement that somebody can misinterpret, it's all over the news for five days. obama makes an astounding, irresponsible statement like this, and, you know, it's ignored. >> greta: do you have any thought on the fact that he's going to be speaking on yom kippur, the holiest of days to israelis, to jews in america, and this is a man who wants to wipe israel off the map. he said they're like a tumor. whose idea was it to have speak that today? why can't he speak today or on thursday, some other day? >> i don't know why, but shows the lack of sensitivity to what's going on and the total
lack of concern about the state of israel, which frankly i don't think is very high on the president's agenda. after all, the president is in new york today. he went on "the view," but he can't visit with netanyahu, or any other world leader. he was there a couple days ago and visited with beyonce and jay-z and collected 40 grabbed a person and didn't -- 40 grand a person and didn't have enough time to meet with netanyahu, which gives us an idea where israel fits in for him, which is not very high. he announced on "60 minutes" that israel is one of our allies, not the most important, and treats them as if they're not an ally. >> greta: why in the world would he go on "the view," not meet with netanyahu, the prime minister of israel, he has these fundraisers, which everybody does, but it has just a bad appearance politically, like a
tin ear, referring to the middle east and ahmadinejad as noise. can you think of any possible explanation from his side? >> yes. it displays, i think, his priorities. his priorities have been to be much more concerned about the palestinian authority than the state of israel. put a lot more pressure on israel than the palestinian authority. been much more concerned about trying to meet with and negotiate with ahmadinejad and the ayatollah. couple months back he wrote a letter to the ayatollah seeking to negotiate with him as opposed to trying to create fear that there might be a massive military strike if in fact iran does this totally irresponsible thing of trying to become a nuclear power. the president seems to completely miss the real danger of a nuclear iran, which is an iran that can hand nuclear power off to the terrorists they're presently giving arms to. if they have nuclear material that they can hand to 20 or 30
terrorist groups that they are presently sponsoring, we could very easily have a dirty bomb go off in london, new york, boston, and they'll want to kill the saudi arabian ambassador, which the president has ignored also, at least in terms of a definitive spot. they'll lie about it. >> greta: last night he referred to what's going on in libya. i'm trying to figure out what he could possibly mean about it, but refers to it with a poor choice of words, as "a bump in the road." it's far more profound than a bump in the road. >> can you imagine how that task affects the families of our now slaughtered ambassador, the other diplomat and the two seals that died? their death was a bump in the road. the killing of 20,000 people in syria is a bump in the road.
the killing of our soldiers in afghanistan is a bump in the roe. this is an outrageous statement. but it's beyond just being a mistake. it indicates the fact that the president has a different priority for what's going on in the middle east, and i think what the priorities should be. it may give us some understanding as to why the proper security wasn't there. i think when the president captured bin laden, in addition to kind of organizing the administration to try to do hollywood movies about what a superhero he is, i think what the president of the united states did was, i think he thought he had defeated al-qaeda. he said he was going to move on to asia now. well, we can't move on. we can't move on, because there are thousands and thousands of people in this part of the world that want to kill us, have now succeeded in doing it. chris stevens was the first american ambassador killed since jimmy carter. that should send a powerful message. there's not the proper security and proper understanding of how danger islamic extremist terrorism is.
when have you heard the president of the united states use the words islamic extremist terrorism? >> greta: you know, he has said that he wants to talk with the iranians, but that hasn't even hand in 3 1/2 years. it's not been attempted. maybe there's something behind the scenes diplomatic work being done, but nothing has been done there. we see iran marching toward a nuclear weapon. israel, our greatest ally in the region, obviously very concerned, you know, asking the united states for some sort of help, and things get leaked to the "new york times," which says they can't do it themselves, and we don't seem -- we say they're our greatest ally, but we seem to be a little bit throwing them under the bus. >> i don't think we are a little throwing them under the bus. i think we are throwing them under the bus. the fact is this is beyond politics, whether you like somebody or don't. the prime minister of israel has to make a very difficult decision. i would not want to be in his shoes. i wouldn't want have to make the
decision, a critical decision whether he takes action or doesn't. he's entitled to a meeting with the president of the united states to sit down face-to-face with politics put aside, with posturing put aside. it's the height of irresponsibility that a president that doesn't get all of his oral foreign security briefings anyway won't sit down and talk to him, but yet he's begging to talk to ahmadinejad and the ayatollah. >> what do you make of this controversy the past couple weeks, the youtube video which has been used as -- i mean, the white house came out and said that was the provocation between libya and egypt. now they're dialing that back. ahmadinejad says he's terribly insulted by the video and the united states is doing nothing, that insults are a crime, that he comes here and insults everybody and his brother, but what you think of the video? >> i think it's an excuse for a well-planned, well-executed attack. certainly that one in libya was
planned for quite some time. that video goes back to june or july. plenty of time to act on this video if it was going to be in the words of president obama's administration a spontaneous attack. i can't imagine how at anytime this was a spontaneous attack since there were rocket-propelled grenades and rockets used in this attack. you don'i have to the conclusioh his comments about it being a bump in the road, comments about it's just noise, comments about how this was a spontaneous attack, that this administration dangerously has its head in the sand about the continuing danger of islamic terrorism which they seem to want to write off. >> greta: mayor, thank you, sir. >> thank you, greta. >> greta: straight ahead, can the iranian president who hates israel and hates jews be stopped
from speaking at the u.n. on the holiest jewish holiday of the year? some members of congress are trying. what are they doing and will it work? that's next. also a huge crusade to get out the evangelical vote. could it put governor romney over the top? the man behind this push, ralph reed, is here coming up. we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how we get it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water. billions in the economy. at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all. we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪ and those well grounded. for what's around this corner... and the next. there's cash flow options from pnc.
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>> greta: it is the ultimate insult. the man who slings threats and who has called for israel to be wiped off the map is set to address the u.n. on the holiest day of the year for jews. that's right. iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad will speak to the general assembly on wednesday, the yom kippur holiday. now there's pressure to to ask the u.n. to stop the president. tell me, first of all, what are the odds that this resolution will go any place or has any possibility of success. >> well, first of all, thanks for having me from philadelphia, greta. what we wanted to accomplish with the resolution is make it very clear the senate of the united states congress, which is bipartisan, which is very strong, that president ahmadinejad by filing this resolution, make it clear that he's threatened the safety and security of the united states, and her citizens, he's
threatened the safety and security of the state of israel, and you've outlined some of his outrageous and hurtful statements that he's made over the course of the last several years. this is a man should be precluded from speaking before the united nations at anytime, under any circumstances, let alone on the highest of jewish holy days, yom kippur, which begins tomorrow. congress is not in session, but we did introduce the bill before it ended session last week. in a very short period of time we have well over a dozen sponsors. if we were still in session, greta, i'd suspect we'd have over 200 already. >> greta: don't get me started on the still in session business, because i think you should be still be in session. you have 14 signatures. it's bipartisan. i notice that many of the people are in areas with substantial jewish constituencies. i'm curious, where is everybody
else? i mean 14 is maybe a lot in practical terms, but there's lots of members of congress, a lot of people who haven't bothered to sign on to this. >> well, i suspect that we will get additional sponsors as time goes on. there's not a lot of time as you well know. coming from my district, suburban philadelphia, bucks county, montgomery county, pennsylvania, i heard loud and clear from my constituents, greta. i was on a conference call on september 12th and september 13th talking about what was going on in cairo, egypt, and in libya. my constituents were very clear on this particular issue, that they wanted me to speak out, find other sponsors, find sponsors from the democrat side of the aisle as well as the republican side. i represent -- go ahead. >> greta: sorry to interrupt you. i think you have zero chance of success. i see the hugely important nature of the symbolism of at least the american -- you know, the legislature, our congrs, making a statement. this is -- you know, the reason
i'm so disappointed there aren't more than 14, because this is just -- this is a sense of decency. you don't have to be jewish to -- you know, to feel the sense of decency, of having this man who says absolutely horrible things, trying to get a nuclear weapon, wanting to wipe israel off the map. i'm surprised you don't have more than 14. >> greta, you're right. it is the right and decent thing to do. that's why i drafted it. that's why there are others who have joined me. i'm speaking up for my constituents, my jewish constituents, who will on yom kippur, they will be in their synagogue praying, so they won't have the opportunity to protest this madman while he's permitted to speak before the united nations. i thought it was the right thing to get the united states congress on the record, which is what we've done. more importantly, it's more for our president, for our nation, either on his own, through the state department, whatever means he has at his disposal, speak
out wout as well. he can ask that this speech be delayed or terminated, but certainly not to be held on this coming wednesday, on the highest of jewish holidays. >> greta: it's customary that members of our delegation will get up and leave when he takes to giving his speech. congressman, thank you, sir. >> thank you, greta. >> greta: coming up, he's credited with helping george w. bush win re-election in 2004. now ralph reed is trying to help governor mitt romney help. ralph reed has a plan. he's here to tell you. that's next. also a midair mystery. a valuable piece of luggage disappears in flight. what was it and where in the world did it go? you have to hear how this one turns out. is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
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and the evangelicals could make a difference. one man is hoping to drum up support for governor romney. ralph reed is th was an advisore bush and cheney campaigns. nice to see you, ralph. >> good to be with you, greta. >> greta: you have a database of 17.1 million, which is giant. i'm curious, what are you saying to that 17.1 million as to the reason they should come out and vote for governor romney? >> greta, first of all, we've engaged in a massive voter registration effort. this were 17 million evangelical christians who didn't bother to go to the polls four years ago when barack obama was elected. about half of those because they weren't registered to vote. about half were registered to vote didn't bother to come. the first thing we focused on and voter registration continues in most states through october 6th or 9th, in some states like wisconsin you can go
through to election day, we're making sure that at a minimum they're registered, they're informed, they're educated. second thing we're doing, greta, we're distributing over 51 million copies of a nonpartisan voter guide that shows where mitt romney and barack obama stand on 10 key issues from economy to jobs, taxes and spending, healthcare, marriage, the right-to-life, and other key issues, including the obama mandate on religious charities, which will be devastating to many not only catholic but protestant hospitals, colleges, universities and schools, and every one of these issues stands is footnoted, righ either in thr own words, off a speech they gave, book they wrote, 90% in their words. we'll let the voters make the decision. >> greta: what do you do about the evangelical -- there are some out there who will say, well, he's a mormon? >> well, i think, first of all, you start with article vi to the
constitution, which says there's no religious test to serve in public office. we were the first nation in the history of western civilization to say that you couldn't prohibit somebody from serving in office because they were a baptist or they were catholic or they were jewish or in governor romney's case because he's a member of the church of latter-day saints. and i just feel very strongly about that. and i think furthermore if you look at the polling -- greta, this often isn't understood, but if you actual look at the pew research data, the gallup data, the bias and bigotry against a mormon candidate is much more on the left it is on the right. it's mostly secular left of center voters in opposition to the social values of mormons much more than it is evangelical protestants. >> greta: reading the numbers, 28% of the electorate in 2008 were evangelicals, which is a giant percentage.
i'm curious in doing your analysis, your state by state breakdown with your 17.1 million database, with the impact in the swing states, have you analyzed your impact in the all so important swing states? >> well, we have. and i think if you look at the big four, where these voters are to be found, it's florida, ohio, virginia and north carolina. and if you look at every one. those, you know, ohio romney's trailing probably by an average of four points. but florida there's a new poll out this weekend, "miami herald" poll conducted by mason-dixon, it's 48 obama, 47 romney. and brad cokier, the pollster says ground game will decide it. virginia effectively tied. north carolina effectively tied. in every one. those states, greta, we believe we'll be able to increase the evangelical turnout from the 2008 baseline by an average of about 7%.
and when that happens, there's going to be a lot of shocked faces in a lot of newsrooms all across america. >> greta: let me take ohio, for example. let's take one. 18 electoral college votes. you think you have enough -- there are enough evangelicals who have not been counted in this poll that are going to vote for -- that were going to vote for president obama, you think you can get to them to make the difference in that state, for instance? >> i do. the interesting thing about this, greta, here we are in the age of internet, you know, cable tv, smartphones, you know, tablets, and all this amazing technology, and where has all this technology taken us? it's taken us to an air war of mutual assured destruction where both sides are throwing hundreds of millions at each other, and it's basically coming to a draw. what's going to decide the outcome of this election, left, right and center, among republicans, democrats, as well as independents, among voters of faith and among all voters is
who knocks on more doors, who makes more phone calls, who burns more shoe leather, who rings more doorbells, and who gets more people to the polls. i promise you that that is what will decide the outcome of the election. it's very counter into you ty, it's back to the future, but that's what this has all taken us back to. >> greta: ralph, thank you as always. >> you bet, greta. good to be with you. >> greta: coming up, can president obama smooth over the bumps in the road controversy? it's a giant one. how much will it mean for the president's campaign? our expert political panel is here to talk about it next. and in two minutes, a mystery at 30,000 feet. an airline passenger's ipad disappears. wait till you hear how he tracks it down and who police say stole it. that's two minutes away. bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here.
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airlines passenger flew from reno to san jose. when he arrived in california he realized his ipad was missing from his carry-on luggage. luckily he remembered he downloaded an antitheft app on the ipad, and the app tracked the ipad to oregon city, oregon. police went to the local address and it turns out it was the home of a horizon airlines flight attendant. she admitted having the ipad, but she claimed another passenger gave it to her after finding it on a seat. she told police she never used the ipad, but they found she had put personal information in it like her husband's birthday. tonight the woman is under arrest and the ipad is headed back to its owner. what do you think about this story? go to gretawire.com. we're back in two. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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60 minutes. first to our new york newsroom with the headlines. >> discover, the credit card company, ordered to pay back about $200 million to cardholders. the fed is accusing the credit card giant of deceptive marketing practice. they say call center workers sometimes leading customers to believe add-ons like identity theft protection were free when they were not. discover will also pay a $14 million fine. and a bad day for apple shareholders sparked in part by a huge factory brawl. this happened at the foxconn factory in china where apple products are assembled. some 2,000 workers there reportedly riting. no word why. that coupled with disappointing sales reports of a new iphone 5 sent apple stock plunging today. 5 million iphone 5s have been sold since the debut last friday. back to greta. >> greta: lots of bumps in the road on a campaign trail today. governor romney hammering president obama about his reference to outbreaks of the
middle east violence as bumps in the road. well, will the controversy impact the race or is the controversy itself just a bump in the road? joining us our political panel, abc news senior washington editor rick coastline, "washington post" national political correspondent karen tumulty, and bob kousack. rick, to? > >> i think this is a cliche he wants back. the romney campaign interpreted this as a reaction to the death of ambassador stevens. the response comes off insensitive, as unfeeling comes off as someone who isn't engaged in the particulars of what's going on. again, this isn't the phrase.to use as to what's going on. the romney campaign eager to talk about it in the days to come. >> in fact, this is a phrase that's gotten the president into trouble, has drawn a response from the romney campaign once before in a very different context. he was talking about bumps in the road in the economic recovery, and the romney campaign put together a very
memorable ad where they had people standing up from along a road in the middle of nowhere, saying i'm not a bump in the road. >> i mean, this was a good day for mitt romney's campaign. we haven't said that in a long time. if he wins this thing, this could be the beginning of his comeback. he needed to get the focus off the 47% remark. at least for one day i think he did. >> greta: you know, it minimizes things, but it's not sort of like isolated like a gaffe, because you have a situation where he won't meet with the prime minister of israel, won't meet with netanyahu. secretary of state hillary clinton met with the presidents of afghanistan and libya. i realize she has a big portfolio. he doesn't seem fully engaged. >> i think that -- i think that it is a very deliberate snub of netanyahu. i think in part because the president feels like netanyahu has been trying to push him around. second of all, i think the president thinks that there's no political price to be paid, because he believes that the american people overall are just -- don't have the appetite
for another war. >> greta: but there might be in south florida. >> there might be. but obama knows he's going to get morris of the jewish vote. this is a controversy. we're still talking about. new york democrats, we talked to henry waxman and barney frank, and they said, listen, netanyahu is injecting himself in the presidential campaign and needs to butt out. >> i think with this bump in the road comment, if i'm the obama campaign, i'm chalking this up as a cautionary thing for the debates. it could be a turning point in the debate. just coach him to be careful in his responses. i think the president looked tired in a lot of the interview with "60 minutes." he has to be careful how he frames these things. >> he can emphasize the fact that he was talking about a road. the question was whether the recent eventsen events in the middle east had made him think twice about his previous support for the arab spring. and so if he can portray this as, you know, a terrible event, but on the way to a good goal,
that may be his way out. >> greta: has he been engaged in trying to solve these problems or he has been a spectator president? >> i don't think he's been a spectator. i think he's engaged, meeting with his advisors on these things. i don't think it's a question of the white house not caring about these things at all. >> greta: i think they care about whether you see progress or effort toward it. >> i think they're trying. clearly they're trying. i think the secretary of state, the u.n. ambassador, they've been working these things hard. they don't want these things to be happening. there's deep concern about it. >> greta: is he? >> no reason for me to think that he's anything less than fully engaged in terms of meetings with cabinet officials, people in his administration. >> the problems for the obama administration -- these are complicated, difficult things. bush administration didn't have the solution for the middle east. obama has talked about burnishing u.s. image aproud. he says that's one of his proudest accomplishments. this cuts into that message. >> greta: we'll take a quick
break. straight ahead, ducking and dodge. what caused david axelrod to squirm on national tv? you'll see fo for yourself. that's next. ef that lasts up to 16 hours? with thermacare heatwraps. thermacare works differently. it's the only wrap with patented heat cells that penetrate deep to relax, soothe, and unlock tight muscles. for up to 16 hours of relief, try thermacare.
game of dodge? during a tv interview he was asked about president obama's plan to reform social security. here's his response. >> what's his proposal? >> mark, i tell you what, when -- when you get elected to the united states senate and sit at that table -- this is not the time to -- we're not going to have that discussion right now unless the -- unless the congress wants to sit at a table and say, okay, we're ready to move on a balanced approach to this. the reality of social security is this is a much less imminent problem than medicare. >> greta: we are back with our political panel. bob? >> well, i think both campaigns are dodging it. president obama put social security on the table when he talked to speaker boehner on the debt limit. he talked about changing the cpi, changing the inflation, which would cut social security. that's what republicans wanted. we saw the grand bargain fall apart. mitt romney not talking about details on taxes. last night on "60 minutes," did
not reveal that. i know why they don't get into specifics, because it can be used in campaign ads. both sides are dodging questions. >> the president has said he would be willing to entertain the idea of raising the amount of income subject to social security taxation, but the fact is that if you're going to have any kind of serious reform it has to be the way it was done in 1983, which is with the two parties sitting at the table deciding on something, then holding hands and going over that cliff together. it's butch cassidy and the sundance kid time. >> greta: isn't that leadership? the opposing party's always going to push against you, but this is a very important issue for the american people, the social security. it's very important. sure, it's lousy that the opposing party pushes against anyone. >> george bush put out a social security proposal. he didn't get the bipartisan support for it, didn't get the negotiations for it. >> greta: it still remains a
problem. it's not like the last guy failed, so i'm not going to do anything either. >> no one wants to touch it, go near it. as bob mentioned, the parallel to what the romney campaign and what paul ryan has said is sort of interesting, that paul ryan will say we're not talking about the details of tax reform, because we want it to be transparent when we get in there and have the negotiations. the fact is six weeks before the election you can't have an honest and open debate. neither campaign will want to engage in it. of course they should put ideas before the american people. they have mentioned ideas around social security, but this isn't the bloodstream of the campaign right now. if either campaign raises it, they'll do it to their own detriment. >> if you talk to people on capitol, democrats, the left is more concerned about what president obama will do in the second term. the right is saying, watch obama in the second term. senators who care a lot about social security, senators bernie sanders, tom harken, they're nervous. >> greta: i'm one of 300 million
profoundly disappointed with the fact that congress dodges every one. these important issues and the president. >> they do. they kick the can down the road. >> greta: i agree. panel, coming up, president obama taking heat from saying you can't change washington from the inside. "snl" has advice for the president next. our life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported.
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>> greta: time for last call, everyone seems to have a different take on president obama's promise of hope and change of here is saturday night live's seth myers. >> if you really not change washington from the inside? i thought we were in charge of the hope and you were in charge of the change? you don't want the coach to come in and say that was rough, does anyone have ideas? you want us to fix it? if you make a facebook page, we'll like it. it's the least we can do, but it's the most we can do.